poetry snapshots: david cooke

Over at my blog, my delayed reactions, I run Poetry Snapshots. This is a ‘featured poet’ (but occasionally fiction writer) publication opportunity, usually every fortnight, but sometimes more frequently.  So this is a special Poetry Snapshots post, as part of my guest blogging spot here.



The closest my dad ever got to poetry
was when he savoured some word
like pugilist, or the tip-toe springiness
he sensed in bob and weave,
his unalloyed delight in the flytings
and eyeball to eyeball hype
that went with big fight weigh-ins.

And I, too, might have been
a contender when I did my stint
in the ring, my dad convinced
I had style and the stamp of a winner,
when in the end I just got bored.
You had to have a killer’s instinct,
to do much better than a draw.

In the gym the lights are low.
It’s after hours. I’m on my own.
The boards are rank with sweat
and stale endeavour. Shadow boxing
like the best of them, I will show
him feints, a classic stance,
trying always to keep up my guard.


David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984, but stopped writing for twenty years. His poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals such as Agenda, The Bow Wow Shop, Critical Quarterly, Cyphers, The Frogmore Papers, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, The North, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp, Stand, Staple, and The Use of English. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, has just been published by Night Publishing and a further collection, Work Horses will be published by Ward Wood Publishing in 2012.

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